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Stepping Forward... into a black eye

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

If the LORD delights in your way, He will make your steps firm; though you may stumble, you will not fall, for the LORD upholds you with His hand. – Psalm 37:23-24 (personalized for you)

Have you ever taken a step forward and immediately regretted it?

It was 1997, and I was very pregnant with our first child. My husband and I lived in an old duplex in Burlington, Vermont. My least favorite part of that house was its basement. Every time I walked down the creaky wooden steep steps, I would be met with a musty smell, reminding me I was about to enter the set of a horror movie. A dimly lit space, with spider webs crisscrossing the ceiling and unknown creatures scampering across the dirt floor.

If I had my choice, I would never have gone down there, except for the fact that the previous renters had left us a gift: a washer and dryer set. Score!

In the very back of the basement, were two barn doors that swung open into the backyard. They were closed tight, sealing in the darkness. Propped up nearby were a few household possessions: some gardening tools and two bicycles. In my shape and size, biking was definitely out of the question. But there was something about digging in the dirt that appealed to me that day.

Call it “nesting” or boredom, but that day I decided it was time to weed the flower garden. So, in spite of looking like I’d swallowed a huge watermelon, I shuffled across the basement floor in the dark, squinting while whisking aside spider webs, fumbling with outstretched arms in search of a rake. There is was! As my right hand reached out for the wooden handle, I felt a rolling sensation under my foot, then a split second later… BAM! A lightning bolt of pain shot through my eye and up into my head.

I turned around, one hand holding my head, the other shoving one of the doors wide open. Stumbling outside, the sunlight felt like an ice pick in my eyeball and my swelling face pulsed like a heartbeat.

My husband still talks about the accusing looks he would get from strangers, neighbors, and even friends as he walked alongside his hugely pregnant wife with a black eye.

Can you look back and now laugh at some of the foolish steps you’ve taken? Maybe a night in college, or a decision at work comes to mind.

In the moment, our missteps can be quite painful. Some even have ripple effects that wash over others, usually the ones we love the most. As time passes and healing happens, maybe we can laugh about our mistakes. I hope so.

No matter what we’ve done or who we’ve become, God still has great plans for our lives. In Psalm 37:23-24, God’s word reminds us…

If the LORD delights in your way, He will make your steps firm; though you may stumble, you will not fall, for the LORD upholds you with His hand.

God is pleased when our steps follow Jesus and we walk in His ways. He wants us to ask Him which way to go before we race ahead. But at the same time, God knows we’ll absolutely stumble in the dark, reach for the wrong things, and skin our knees more often than we soar. That’s ok, because His plans are still good.

God can use our wayward steps to move us forward into greater:

  • Humility

  • Forgiveness

  • Trust

Think of a time when you messed up. It might be something you said or did. Now imagine walking into God’s throne room holding Jesus’ hand. You humble yourself before your loving Father and hand him your mistake. He accepts it graciously without even a word of criticism. He lovingly tells you, you’re forgiven. Then, He asks you to trust His incredible plans. Will you believe He can use even this for good?

What would you say standing in God’s presence? How would you feel knowing you’re truly forgiven, blameless in His sight?

I think for me, I’d tremble in His holy presence. I hope my lips would say, “Thank you God!” That’s probably all I could get out in such a powerful moment.

What’s amazing is… we get to do that every day. Gratitude to God moves our feet in a divine direction. Walking closer to God, we discover it’s His hand holding us up, even when we stumble in the dark. Thank you God!


Here are 3 questions you can discuss with someone or in a circle with several others.

  1. When did you step somewhere you wish you hadn’t?

  2. How can our mistakes and missteps move our feet in God’s divine direction?

  3. What are you most thankful for after you make a wrong move?

The Power of Giving God Thanks Will Ignite Your Faith and Change Your World!

Thank You for Being a part of the 3 O’Clock Wake Up Movement

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